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India: Nine killed as Mumbai-Dehradun Express catches fire in Thane

8th Jan 2014
India: Nine killed as Mumbai-Dehradun Express catches fire in Thane


Thane (Maharashtra), (Hindustan Times & Agencies): Nine people were charred to death when a fire broke out in three coaches of Mumbai-Dehradun Express train, number 19019, near Dahanu road in neighbouring Thane district in the wee hours today.
Among the nine dead, one is a woman and four are men while the rest were yet to be identified, said Western Railway PRO Sharat Chandra.

Railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge today expressed grief over the death of passengers in the fire mishap on board the Mumbai-Dehradun Express and announced an ex-gratia of Rs. five lakh each to the next of kin of those killed.

“The railway minister has expressed deep grief over the incident and announced an ex-gratia of Rs. five lakh for those who died in this unfortunate incident and Rs. one lakh to those seriously injured,” Chairman, Railway Board, Arunendra Kumar said.

Three coaches of the train — S3, S4 and S5 caught fire.

“The fire was noticed on the speeding train by a level-crossing gateman who alerted the guard. The guard informed the driver and the train was stopped. The gateman did a commendable job and averted a major disaster,” the spokesperson said.

According to preliminary information, the fire broke out in S-3 coach and quickly spread to the other adjoining coaches as the train hurtled to its destination.

Some of the victims identified are Surendra Shah, 68, Dipika Shah 65, of Ghatkopar, who were in  coach S3; and Nasirkhan Pathan, 50. Devshankar Upadhyay 48 of Borivli, who were in  S4.

The fire was brought under control shortly after the train was brought to a halt at Gholwad station, around 145 km from north of Mumbai on the Maharasthra-Gujarat border.

Accident relief vans have been sent from Mumbai and Gujarat to assist in the relief operations and the injured have been admitted to hospitals in Dahanu and Gholwad, the official said.

Top officials, including the divisional railway manager, have rushed to the tragedy site and are supervising the relief operations.

The following emergency helpline numbers have been released: 022 23011853, 022-23007386

(With inputs from PTI and IANS)

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